House of Peranakan Cuisine | 1 George St.

Well positioned at the corner of Church Street and George Street in what used to be Pidemco Centre, House of Peranakan Cuisine looks like your typical Peranakan restaurant. Peranakan artifacts, ornaments and furniture decorate what is essentially a modern place to give it that old world feel that many Peranakan restaurants try to achieve. The menu too was exactly what we expected, with the usual assortment of spicy stews and curries characteristic of this cuisine. We dove in and ordered a variety of stews—itek tim (duck stew), babi pong teh (pork stew), chap chye (vegetable stew)—as well as a satay ayam (spicy chicken curry) and, the ultimate test of any Peranakan restaurant, ayam buah keluak (spicy chicken stew with an Indonesian nut). The duck and pork stews looked and tasted too much like each other, but the chap chye was delicious: Vegetables cooked firm in a tasty gravy. The satay ayam was spicy as promised, but didn’t taste of much. When the ayam buah keluak arrived, it got our attention. First, we tried the sauce, which was rich, full of flavor and spices. Then came the acid test—the nuts. Three fat buah keluak floated in the thick sauce—not a huge quantity but normal for this dish in restaurants. We scraped out the creamy kernels and they fell onto our plates whole. The kernel had been mixed with something, as it is meant to be, but we couldn’t tell whether it was pork, chicken or shrimp. This is not the best buah keluak we have had, but we enjoyed it nonetheless and polished it off quickly. For dessert, we chose pulut hitam (black glutinous rice with coconut milk) and bubur terigu (creamy buckwheat with coconut milk). Each dessert arrived with generous swirls of coconut milk, which added a distinctive taste to the dishes. The pulut hitam was acceptable if a bit thin, while the bubur terigu was thick, smooth and sweet, and definitely got our approval. Throughout all this, our servers were prompt and very efficient. For the most part they met our requests swiftly and correctly, with only two delays: One in serving the rice and the other in retrieving the bill for us. We would recommend this restaurant as a good place for a weekday lunch, where you can have a quick and satisfying meal.